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Literature / Warrior Cats: The Original Series

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"Four Will Become Two. Lion and Tiger will meet in battle. And Blood will rule the forest."

"Fire alone can save our Clan."
Into the Wild.

Warrior Cats: The Original Series (now called The Prophecies Begin) is the first arc of the popular Warrior Cats series by Erin Hunter.

The series focuses on housecat Rusty, who, tired of the easy life of a pet, decides to join ThunderClan, one of four warrior Clans who rule the forest neighboring his home. Rusty is dubbed Fireheart and sets out on a quest to unravel the secrets his Clanmates keep hidden in an effort to protect the forest from evil.

The series was inspired by Redwall and Watership Down and it shows. Anyone Can Die is in full effect, and every cutie is broken. The first arc is the most popular among the fandom, and is the bloodiest in the series.

  1. Into the Wild
  2. Fire and Ice
  3. Forest of Secrets
  4. Rising Storm
  5. A Dangerous Path
  6. The Darkest Hour


The First Arc provides examples of:

  • Almost Dead Guy: Whitestorm, Bluestar, and Yellowfang among others.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Most evidently with Tigerclaw.
  • A Protagonist Shall Lead Them: Firestar, leader of ThunderClan.
  • Arc Words: "Fire alone can save our Clan" and later "Four will become two, Lion and Tiger will meet in battle and Blood will rule the Forest". It wasn't a prophecy, but "Pack, Pack, Kill, Kill" in A Dangerous Path.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Fireheart's leadership ceremony.
  • Big Bad: Brokenstar at first. Tigerclaw takes over after becoming ShadowClan's new leader. Finally Scourge at the end.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Brokenstar and Tigerclaw. Later becomes a Big Bad Duumvirate.
  • Braving the Blizzard: Cloudtail, as a kit, sneaks out of camp to go hunting even though he's not old enough. As a result, Firestar and Sandstorm need to brave the weather in order to find him.
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  • Cain and Abel: Word of God confirms that Fireheart and Scourge as well as Graystripe and Darkstripe are brothers.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Before going to his first gathering, Graystripe hopes that Clawface and Stonefur will attend. Both later become major players. Also, Barley who was once a member of BloodClan, and the small apprentice Lionheart talks to at Fireheart's first gathering, who later becomes ShadowClan's medicine cat.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Fireheart's I Surrender, Suckers, which he uses throughout the series (most notably in his first battle ever), is the key to defeating Scourge.
  • The Chosen One: The prophecy says Fire alone can save them. The hero is named Fireheart. See the connection?
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Brokenstar. And also Tigerstar.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Kits call their parents by their names rather than by "Mother" or "Father".
    • Apprentices must travel to the Moonstone before becoming a warrior. This is mentioned several times in the series (though Fireheart and Graystripe are the only ones that actually do as far as the reader knows) and forgotten later on. After fans pointed this out to the authors, it gets Lampshaded in the later part of the second series by Leafpool, who comments that they seem to have left that tradition behind when they came to the lake.
    • Even she-cats not expecting kits are referred to as queens in the first book.
    • Earlier books have slightly different spellings than later books - Highstones is HighStones in the first book, "crowfood" is two words or at least has a hyphen, "Clanmate" is two words.
    • At Gatherings, cats of all ages tend to mix: examples include senior warrior Lionheart talking with some apprentices, and Fireheart sitting with a group of elders and medicine cats. In later books, the characters tend to stick with the cats their own age.
    • Mates aren't (for the most part) treated as major relationships in the first series, and it is mentioned that warrior fathers don't stay close to their kits (Crookedstar being a rare exception.) In the third series, Spiderleg is criticized because he doesn't want to play with his kits, and in the third and fourth series especially, everyone gossips about young couples and young she-cats talk about who they like and things like that.
  • Enemy Mine: All the cats from all four clans in the valley join together as one to drive off BloodClan.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Brokenstar until he is stripped of his leadship of ShadowClan. Later on Tigerclaw takes a level in hamminess after becoming ShadowClan's leader.
  • Genki Girl: Cinderpaw, until she gets hit by a car.
  • Gilded Cage: Firestar considers his life as a kittypet this. He has all the food and shelter he could want, but he desires something that being a housecat can't give him and ends up joining a Clan in the nearby forest.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Sandpaw, Firestar's future mate, complains about sleeping with Firepaw in the apprentices' den.
  • He Knows Too Much: Tigerclaw's primary reason for trying to kill Ravenpaw and Fireheart.
  • Heroic BSoD: Bluestar suffers a particularly nasty one after Tigerclaw's betrayal. It takes her two entire books to get over it completely... just in time for a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Bluestar
  • It Has Been an Honor: Whitestorm. "I've been proud to serve as your deputy."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Yellowfang
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Tigerclaw attempts (and fails) this twice:
    • He tells Bluestar to meet him by the Thunderpath, setting his scent markers too close to the edge. He hopes Bluestar will run right onto the road, not realizing how close she is, and be hit by a car. Cinderpaw ends up caught in it instead.
    • He tries to drown Fireheart, as mentioned below under the Uriah Gambit. Even Fireheart wasn't sure whether it was an accident or not until he noticed the way Tigerclaw was looking at him later.
    • Darkstripe gave Sorrelkit deathberries to eat; if Graystripe hadn't seen what happened, every cat would have just assumed she found the berries and didn't know what they were.
  • Make Way for the New Villains: Tigerstar. Leader of Shadowclan. Powerful warrior. Manipulative, full of empty promises, with all 9 lives. Then Scourge rips away all 9 lives in one swipe, and tells the other cats that they have three days to vacate their territory, or die.
  • Meaningful Rename:
    • When an apprentice becomes a warrior, their name's "-paw" suffix is replaced with something more appropriate.
    • Brightpaw gets special mention here. When she is wounded and nearly dies, Bluestar gives her the name Lostface as part of her Rage Against the Heavens. Later, when Fireheart becomes leader, he renames her Brightheart.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Bluestar, Lionheart and Yellowfang, mentors to Fireheart, Graystripe and Cinderpelt respectively, and all mentors to Fireheart in some way, all die.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • As is true with a large number of pure white cats with blue eyes, Snowkit is born deaf. As is also true with disabled animals in the wild, Snowkit does not survive into adulthood. He is carried off by a hawk because he can't hear the other cats calling for him to get to safety.
    • Brightpaw and Swiftpaw are tired of Bluestar denying them their warrior names, and go off to find a dog pack rumored to be loose in the forest, reasoning that Bluestar can't keep ignoring them if they prove how brave they are. When they actually find the dog pack, they quickly find out that two young cats don't stand a fighting chance against an entire pack of bloodthirsty, full-grown adult dogs. Swiftpaw is killed and Brightpaw is horribly mauled, losing one ear and one eye.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: "The clouds are stained with blood! This day will bring an unneccessary death."
  • Retronym: Originally just called "Warriors", however, fans now call it "The Original Series" to distinguish it from the rest of the arcs.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Graystripe and Silverstream.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Scourge turning against Tigerstar.
  • Twist Ending: The very last line of Rising Storm. See Wham Line below.
  • Unexpected Successor: Tigerclaw to Nightstar.
  • Unfortunate Names: Deadfoot, Runningnose, and... Lostface.
  • The Unfought: After reading the first five books and seeing how Tigerstar was being an absolute dick, expecting Firestar to finally give him just desserts? NOPE! Scourge takes that pride away.
  • Unfriendly Fire: One of Tigerclaw's tactics before he is exiled:
    • In the first book, he kills Redtail after a battle, claiming that Redtail was killed by Oakheart during the battle. Oakheart died in the same battle, so he's not exactly around to deny it.
    • Tigerclaw's attempt to kill Bluestar. He convinces a group of rogues to attack the camp, and during the battle, attacks Bluestar himself, planning to make it look like she had been killed by rogues.
  • The Uriah Gambit: Another one of Tigerclaw's tactics:
    • Tigerclaw, suspecting that Ravenpaw knows he killed Redtail, sets him some dangerous hunting tasks, including at Snakerocks (named for the deadly adders that bask there in the summer... Ravenpaw actually manages to catch one!) and in ShadowClan territory.
    • During battle, Fireheart's pinned down and fighting for his life. He calls to Tigerclaw for help, but Tigerclaw just watches him; it's to his advantage if Fireheart dies since he believes Ravenpaw told Fireheart what he knows.
    • At one point, he orders Fireheart to cross a flooded stream, using only a spindly branch caught in the water. When Fireheart's halfway across and Longtail isn't watching, Tigerclaw tries to Make It Look Like an Accident by knocking the branch loose of the rock it's caught against.
  • Wham Line: And with a cold shiver of dread, Fireheart realized that the new leader of ShadowClan was Tigerclaw.


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